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Printed by A. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square.
Printed by A. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square. Leon in its present form. I am however at a loss how to oblige them. In the original Preface I frankly stated the sources upon which I had drawn for the idea and conduct of the work. I free sx chat st leon le grand len no remarks to offer, but these which follow:— In I produced the novel of Caleb Williams. Rfee believed myself fortunate in the selection I had made of the ground-plot of that work.
An atrocious crime committed by a man ly of the most exemplary habits, the annoyance he suffers from the immeasurable and ever-wakeful curiosity of a raw youth who is placed about his person, the state of doubt in which the reader might for a time be as to the truth of the charges, and the consequences growing out of these causes, seemed to me to afford scope for a narrative of no common interest.
I was not disappointed. Caleb Williams was honoured with the public favour. The consequence was that I was solicited to try my hand again in a work of fiction. I hesitated long. I despaired of finding again a topic so rich of interest and passion. In those days it was deemed a most daring thought to attempt to write a novel, with the hope that it might hereafter rank among the classics of a language. The most successful English writers [vi] in that province of literature had scarcely gone beyond three.
It had not then been conceived that the same author might produce twenty or thirty, at the rate of two or three per ts, and might still at least retain his hold upon the partiality of his contemporaries.
To Sir Walter Scott we are indebted for this discovery. At length, after having passed some fdee in a state of diffidence and irresolution, I ventured on the task. To this way of thinking St. Northcote] has often told me, that the public may sometimes be interested in the perusal of a book, but that they never give themselves any trouble about the author.
He therefore pe advised me on no occasion to say any thing in print about myself. The present race of readers seem scarcely disposed to sc this maxim. June, The following passage from a work, said to be written by the late Oe. The great freedom and ease with which all persons, who make a good appearance, live in that city, is known sufficiently to all who are acquainted with it; such will not therefore be surprised, that a stranger, who went by the name of or Gualdi, and who made a considerable figure there, was admitted into the best company, though nobody knew who or what he was.
He remained at Venice for some months; and three grrand were remarked in his conduct. The first was, that he had a small collection of fine pictures, which he readily showed to any body that desired it; the next, that he was perfectly fre in all arts and sciences, and spoke on every dx with such readiness and sagacity, as astonished all who heard him; and it was, in the third place, observed, that he never wrote or received free sx chat st leon le grand letter, never desired any credit, or made use of bills of exchange, but paid for every thing in ready money and lived decently, though not in splendour.
The Venetian looked upon it, and then upon him. In order to have an opportunity of doing so, they went to the coffee-house about the time that or Gualdi was wont to come thither; and not meeting with him, one of them, who had often conversed with him, went to his lodgings to enquire after him, where he heard, that he had set out an hour before for Vienna.
This affair made a great noise, and found a place in all the newspapers of that time. Many stories, beside this of or Gualdi, have been told, of persons who were supposed to be in possession of those wonderful secrets, in search of which hundreds of unfortunate adventurers wasted their fortunes and their lives. It has been said of Shakespear, that he Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new  : but the burthen sustained by Shakespear was too heavy for the shoulders of any other individual.
I leave the first part of the task above mentioned to be divided among those celebrated novelists, living and dead, who have attempted to delineate the scenes of real life. In this little work I have endeavoured to gain footing in one neglected track of the latter province. The hearts and the curiosity of readers have been assailed in so many ways, that we, writers who bring up the rear of our illustrious predecessors, must be contented to arrive at novelty in whatever mode we are able.
The foundation of the following tale is such as, it is not to be supposed, ever existed. But, if I have mixed human feelings and passions with incredible situations, and thus rendered them impressive and interesting, I shall entertain some hope to be pardoned the boldness and irregularity of my de. Some readers of my graver productions will perhaps, in perusing these little volumes, accuse me of inconsistency; the affections and charities of private life being every where in this publication a topic free sx chat st leon le grand the warmest eulogium, while in the Enquiry concerning Political Justice they seemed to be treated with no great degree of indulgence and favour.
In answer to this objection, all I think it necessary to say on the present occasion is, that, for more than four years, I have been anxious for opportunity and leisure to modify [x] some of the earlier chapters of that work in conformity to the sentiments inculcated in this. Not that I see cause to make any change respecting the principle of justice, or any thing else fundamental to the system there delivered; but that I apprehend domestic and private affections inseparable from the nature of man, and from what may be styled the culture of the heart, and am fully persuaded that they are not incompatible with a profound and active sense of justice in the mind of him that cherishes them.
True wisdom will recommend to us individual attachments; for with them our minds are more thoroughly maintained in activity and life than they can be under the privation of them; and it is better that man should be a living being, than a stock or a stone. True virtue will sanction this recommendation; since it is the object of virtue to produce happiness, and since the man who lives in the midst of domestic relations will have many opportunities of conferring pleasure, minute in the detail, yet not trivial in the amount, without interfering with the purposes of general benevolence.
Nay, by kindling his sensibility, and harmonising his soul, they may be expected, if he is endowed with a liberal and manly spirit, to render him more prompt in the service of strangers and the public. There is nothing that human imagination can figure brilliant and enviable, that human genius and skill do not aspire to realize. In the early ages of antiquity, one of the favourite topics of speculation was a perfect system of civil policy; and no sooner had Plato delineated his imaginary republic, than he sought for a spot of earth upon which to execute his plan.
In my own times, and for upwards of a century before them, the subject which has chiefly occupied men of intrepid and persevering study, has been the great secret of nature, the opus magnum, in its two grand and inseparable branches, the art of multiplying gold, and of defying the inro of infirmity and death.
It is notorious that uncommon talents and unparalleled industry have been engaged in this mighty task. It has, I know, been disputed by the audacious adversaries of all sober and reasonable evidence, whether these talents and industry have in any case attained the object they sought. It is not to my purpose to ascertain the of those whose victory over the powers and inertness of matter has been complete.
It is enough that I am a living instance of the existence of such men. To these two secrets, if they are to be considered as two, I have been for years in the habit of resorting for my gratification. I have in my possession the choice of being as wealthy as I please, and the gift of free sx chat st leon le grand life.
Every thing that I see almost, I can without difficulty make my own; for what palaces, pictures, parks or gardens, rarities of art or chah, have not a price at which their owner will consent to yield  them? The luxuries of every quarter of the world are emptied at my feet. I can command, to an extent almost inconceivable, the passions of men. What heart can withstand the assault of princely magnificence? What man is inaccessible to a bribe?
Add to these advantages, that I am invulnerable to disease. Every sun that rises, finds the circulations of my frame in the most perfect order. Decrepitude can never approach me. A thousand winters want the power to furrow my countenance with wrinkles, or turn my hairs to silver. Exhaustless wealth and eternal youth are the attributes by which I am distinguished from the rest of mankind. I do not sit down now to write a treatise of natural philosophy. The condition by which I hold my privileges is, that they must never be imparted.
I sit down purely to relate a few of those extraordinary events that have been produced, in the period of my life which is already elapsed, by the circumstances and the peculiarity to which I have just alluded. It is so obvious, as to make it almost improper to specify it, that the pursuit in which so many of my contemporaries are engaged, and the end of which I have so singularly achieved, is in its appearance infinitely more grand and interesting than that which occupied the thoughts of Plato and the most eminent writers of antiquity.
What is political liberty compared with unbounded riches and immortal vigour? But the petty detail of preservation or gradual acquisition can never enter into competition with the great secret, which endows a man in a moment with every thing that the human heart can wish. Considered in this light, how mean and contemptible does the ambition of the boasted ancients appear, compared with ours?
What adept or probationer of the present day would be content to re the study of Free sx chat st leon le grand and the profounder secrets of nature, and to bound his ardour to the investigation of his own miserable existence? It may seem perhaps to many, that the history of a person  possessed of advantages so unparalleled as mine, must be, like the history of paradise, or of the future happiness of the blessed, too calm and motionless, too much of one invariable texture and exempt from vicissitude, to excite the attention or interest the passions of the reader.
If he will have patience, and apply to the perusal of my narrative, he will in no long time perceive how far his conjecture is founded in sagacity and reason. Some persons may be curious to know what motives can have induced a man of such enormous wealth, and so every way qualified to revel in delights, to take the trouble of penning his memoirs.
The immortality with which I am endowed seems to put out of the question the common motives that relate to posthumous fame. The curiosity here mentioned, if it really exists, I cannot consent to gratify. I will anticipate nothing.
In the progress of my story, my motive for recording it will probably become evident. I am descended from one of the most ancient and honourable families of the kingdom of France. I was the only child of my father, who died while I was an infant. My mother was a woman of rather a masculine understanding, and full of the prejudices of nobility and magnificence.
Her whole free sx chat st leon le grand was in a manner concentrated in the ambition to render me the worthy successor of the counts de St. Leon, who had figured with distinguished reputation in the wars of the Holy Land. My father had died fighting gallantly in the plains of Italy under the standard of Louis the Twelfth; a prince whose name was never repeated to me unaccompanied with the praises due to his military prowess, and to the singular humanity of disposition by which he acquired the title of The father of his people.
It has been a long-established custom for the barons and feudal vassals of the kings of France to enter with great personal expense into the brilliant and dazzling expeditions of their sovereigns; and my father greatly impaired his fortune in preparations for that very campaign in which he terminated his life. My mother  industriously applied herself to the restoration of my patrimony; and the long period of my minority afforded her scope for that purpose.
It was impossible for any boy to be treated with more kindness and considerate indulgence than I was during the period of my adolescence. My mother loved me to the very utmost limits perhaps of human affection. I was her darling and her pride, her waking study, and her nightly dream. Yet I was not pampered into corporeal imbecility, or suffered to rust in inactivity of mind.
I was provided with the best masters. I was excited, and successfully excited, zealously to apply myself to the lessons they taught. I became intimately acquainted with the Italian writers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
I was initiated in the study of the classics, to the cultivation of which the revival of letters at this time gave particular ardour. I was instructed in the principles of the oe arts. There was no species of accomplishment at that time in vogue, that my mother was not anxious I should make my own. The only science I neglected was the very science which has since given rise to the most extraordinary events of my life.
But the object to which my attention was principally called, was the pursuit of military exercises, and the cultivation of every thing that could add to the free sx chat st leon le grand, agility, or grace of my body, and to the adventurousness and enterprise of my mind.
My mother loved my honour and my fame more than she loved my person. A circumstance that tended perhaps more than any other to fix the yet fluctuating character of my youthful mind, was my being present as a spectator at the celebrated meeting between Francis the First and Henry the Eighth, king of England, in a field between Ardres and Guines.
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